I got a hold of Spotify Playlist directory back in November. Since then, there’s been a ton of action! I’ve been submitting my songs to curators worldwide and have had some good successes. Check out the “Monthly Listeners” metric on the bottom right of my Spotify profile…
November 25th, 2019:
January 7th, 2020:
And this is only the beginning! The initial jump in listenership was related to the inclusion of my song ‘Grow Crazy’ on a user-generated playlist in São Paulo. (Yeah, I’m big in Brazil.) While researching how to get more action on Spotify, I stumbled upon an article (which is code for “Maureen sent me a link”) about paid advertising on Instagram with the goal of increasing not just spins or listeners, but solid followers on Spotify. Simply being on a playlist is great for short-term spins, but few become actual followers, which is what contributes to steady growth.
Since the evening of December 25th (which is when ‘cost per click’ advertising drops sharply after the holidays), we’ve been investing $5/day on Instagram Story ads. I took three of my music videos, and made a handful of 15 second clips for each of the three songs: Want It All, Belfast, and Healing No. 4. We uploaded these videos to our Facebook Business account, and let the ads start flying on Instagram Stories across the accounts of our target audience.
Before we began, I sent out a survey to my trusty email newsletter followers to get ideas about what other bands would serve as appropriate ‘crossover’ artists. Using the info we gathered, we chose to serve our ads to Facebook users who liked David Bowie, The 1975, Ben Folds, The Cure, Duran Duran, The Killers, as well as to those who said they liked the ‘New Wave’ genre in general.
Here are our stats since we started until today:
Our ads have been reached by 582,000 users, but only 869 have swiped up on our ad, and have landed on a page that links to my Spotify profile. While this percentage is ridiculously small, it’s not bad exposure for only $5/day. Facebook Business is not able to give us a real conversion rate (i.e. % of clicks that end up as Spotify follows), so for that, we have to look at the back end of my Spotify for Aritsts page:
We’ve only gained 14 new followers, which is very poor compared to other people using the same promotion techniques. The general advice we’ve been getting from the group is not to expect much in the beginning, and to constantly be tweaking the target audience until we find a target group that works. Other new artists doing a $5/day budget have been pulling in 100+ new Spotify followers a week.
This brings us back to that audience question again. Many of these other musicians have one or two bands they sound very similar to. For better or worse, my music (even on a song by song basis) is a little tough to solidly compare to one or two other artists.
My buddy Chris is a music industry guy. He discovered Stone Temple Pilots, as well as Kyuss (who later morphed into Queens of the Stone Age). Chris is a huge fan of my music. He has also been very adamant that my music is impossible to market, because it doesn’t fall into the standard industry genre boxes that advertisers know and love. Now we’re starting to see this first hand.
Another suggestion we received was to try and mix up the content of our 15 second ad clips. Two days ago, Maureen opened up Adobe After-Effects and added some pop-up lyrics to one of the ‘Want It All’ clips, and it’s shot up to the second best performer out of the 7 total ads we’ve got running in our ad set. So that’s promising.
We’re also thinking about targeting users based on things other than the music they listen to. I’m a big fan of the author Haruki Murakami, and I feel our work has a kind of kindred vibe, so Maux and I are going to throw some ads toward his fans. We’ve been advised to minimize changes to every couple of days to make sure the data settles. But we’re brainstorming up other target markets.
Are you familiar with my music? What does it make you think of?
Stay tuned for more updates from our journey!